Review: The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins

ShilohRunPress_Logo_zpsmhfyvo4rCan anyone ever have enough great clean fiction for their children to read? I will never pass up the chance to review a great children’s novel.  My most recent read is The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins from Shiloh Run Press

I have two boys that read like nobody’s business.  The devour books at a rate that is nearly impossible to keep up with.  Keeping them in high quality books that nurture their spirits is no easy task.   The Glass Castle fits the bill.  

The Book

The Glass Castle by Trisha White and Jerry Jenkins_zpsiqfvktgjThis book came to me hardbound.  The front cover illustration is beautiful.  It is 256 pages (41 short chapters) long. It is great for late elementary or early middle school aged boys or girls.

My original intent was to do this as a read aloud but my boys got a hold of the book before I realized it and that was it. Ezra (8) who is a very advanced and FAST reader finished this book in just a couple of hours in one evening.  Pokey mommy took a while, 3 days!  (Because, you know there are no distractions in my life).  Each one of us, including myself, couldn’t put it down.  We really had to carry through until the end to see just what was going to happen.

The story begins when an ordinary walk in the woods for 13 year old Avery and her 3 year old brother Henry takes a dramatic and dangerous turn.  They are kidnapped and separated. Before she knows it Avery has been shipped off to the king’s castle where she finds a whole community of other kidnapped 13 year old children.

Avery is fiery and determined young woman who isn’t content with being held captive.  She refuses to rest until the mysteries of their captivity and the secrets of the castle are revealed.  As the story unfolds she learns that the king himself is ill and is desperate need of an heir to his throne.  His first wife and child died 13 years before, or so the king believes.  Angelina, sister to his first wife is determined to take the queen’s throne and provide her own heir.  She fears though the real heir is still alive somewhere. Without the king’s knowledge she orders all 13 year old orphans to be captured and potentially killed.

The secret’s are plentiful in this castle. From the king’s first wife, the Forbidden City, underground tunnels, the first queen’s jewels. Avery’s determination to find answers just may mean the difference between freedom and captivity, life or death, for all of the children and their brother’s sisters.

What my son had to say!

Ezra, age 8 definitely enjoyed the book.  He told me particularly liked Avery as she had a great sense of adventure.  He thought the author did a great job describing the castle.  It was easy to imagine yourself deep within the walls.  With all of the secrets the story really kept him engaged.  He has plenty of his own guesses about those mysteries but unfortunately he will have to wait for the next book in the series before many of them are answered.  Waiting is just so hard!

My Own Thoughts

This book is full of adventure and excitement. The opening scenes of the kidnapping are gripping and bit scary but my son wasn’t phased.  There are some great themes throughout.  I loved how Avery is very family orientated.  She’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep her father and brother safe.  She is also very loyal to her friends in the castle.  Though she is a rule breaker she is always striving to do the right thing.

The story does have a bit of romance weaved throughout.  Avery and Tuck certainly have eyes for each other.  They lock eyes, the blush, they send each other secret notes.  All quite clean.  Avery does seem to have the adoration of most of the boys in the book and in typical style this does earn her a few enemies amongst the boys.

Christian ideas are also introduced as a part of the story.  Avery finds a Bible whose words bring her comfort.  The children create their own chapel and find a time of worship which at times Avery struggles with as life is so difficult.

Overall

This was a great read we both enjoyed.  My 10 year old is now super excited about getting his eyes on the book for himself.  We are certainly looking forward to the sequel Ruby Moon to become available in the fall.

 

The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}
 

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